Eye For Film >> Movies >> Carnival Of Souls (1962) DVD Review
Carnival Of Souls
Reviewed by: Anton BitelRead Anton Bitel's film review of Carnival Of Souls
Network should be commended for making this classic ghost story available at last on DVD. That said, the print's soundtrack is truly awful, especially in the near inaudible dialogue of the opening scenes. The accompanying theatrical trailer offers a clear indication of just how much better the original sounded.
There is, however, some compensation in the excellent commentary track by novelist and critic Kim Newman and writer and editor Stephen Jones. Covering the film's inspirations and influence, its pervasive oddness, and its two-decade disappearance after release ("it wasn't really lost, just forgotten"), Newman is never of short of reasons why this "no-budget regional movie" is "a film that stays with you" and "a genuine American Gothic", while Jones, who admits to being less enthusiastic about the film, points to its occasional longueurs, and to the scenes where the distributors' shorter cut actually improves upon the director's cut (restored in 1989).
Both celebrate the fact that Harvey was still alive to see the revival of his only feature, while lamenting the fact that he never actually profited from it.Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2009